Society for New Music announces 51st season

The world premiere of a chamber piece by Syracuse University professor Natalie Draper is one of the highlights of the Society for New Music (SNM) 2022-23 season.

The first is one of six programs SNM is presenting this college year throughout central New York, encompassing a range of sounds, styles, and songwriting scenes.

Founded in 1971, SNM is the only year-round new music organization in New York State outside of Manhattan. The Syracuse-based nonprofit is also a longtime partner of the university, with students, faculty, and alumni participating in about 30 concerts and workshops each year. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

The schedule is as follows:

Friday, September 9
Second performance of “Home Burial opera by Charles Lupia ’77, L’91
CNY Jazz Center
(441 East Washington St., Syracuse)
7:30 p.m.
Lupia makes her stage debut with “Home Burial”, a one-act chamber opera based on Robert Frost’s “The Death of the Hired Man”. Against the backdrop of a family homecoming, Lupia deals with themes of power, friendship, guilt and redemption. The production features soprano Laura Enslin, tenor Dan Fields ’17 and bass-baritone David Neal, accompanied by pianist Sar Strong G’98, violinist Jonathan Hwang and cellist Zachary Sweet, all under the direction of Heather Buchman . The first half of the all-American program features vocal selections from Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Paulus and Judith Cloud.

Sunday October 2
“Evolutions: Next Generation Music”
St. Paul’s Episcopal
(220 East Fayette St., Syracuse)
4 p.m.

Nathalie Draper

“Evolutions is a three-movement work exploring gradual change, the idea that something can evolve out of nothing,” says Natalie Draper, assistant professor at the Setnor School of Music at the College of Visual and Performing Arts in Syracuse. Written for an extended Pierrot ensemble (flute, clarinets, violin, viola, cello, piano, and percussion), the program’s title work begins with a groove, which Draper reworks through various colors and instrumental registers. The undulating second movement swells before receding into a lush choralistic finale.

Sean O'Loughlin

Sean O’Loughlin

Also in the “Floating Points” program by Ryan Carter and “Pointillism” by Symphoria Principal Conductor Sean O’Loughlin ’95, both commissioned by SNM. “Minnaloushe” by Alexandros Darna completes the program. Darna is the 2022 recipient of the Brian M. Israel Award, co-sponsored by SNM and the Federation of New York Music Clubs.

The concert is performed by members of the Society Players.

Friday, November 4
Music of the Society of Composers Inc., Region II Conference
Park Central Presbyterian Church
(504 East Fayette St., Syracuse)
7:30 p.m.
SNM partners with Setnor School, host of the Society of Composers Inc. (SCI) Region II conference, for an evening of new music by established and rising stars. The program features works by SCI members Jiyoun Chung, Wenbin Lyu, Paul Novak, Charles Peck, Paul Richards, Sami Seif and Octavio Vazquez.

From Friday 17 February to Sunday 19 February
Annual show “Vision of sound”
Syracuse, Geneva and Rochester (locations to be determined)
Times to be determined

Christopher Cresswell '11

Christopher Cresswell

An SNM tradition for 17 years, “Vision du son” presents an original evening of music, dance and movement by regional artists. The Society Players perform works by Christopher Cresswell ’11, former Syracuse teacher Sally Lamb McCune, Ryan Chase, Carrie Magin, Mark Olivieri and Doc Woods.

Sunday March 26
Syracuse Symposium Concert “Repair Works”
Hergenhan Auditorium (Newhouse 3), Syracuse University
2 p.m.

SNM marks the Syracuse Symposium’s year-long theme “Fix: Tell, Resist, Reimagine” with the world premiere of a play by former Syracuse teacher James Gordon Williams. To complete the program, “Glorious Mahalia” by Stacy Garrop; “Oh, Freedom” by guest composer Anthony R. Green; and “I Told You So” by Flannery Cunningham.

sunday april 23
Music by SNM Laureates
St. Paul’s Episcopal
(220 East Fayette St., Syracuse)
4 p.m.
SNM concludes its 51st season with new music from award-winning composers. Featuring, “Shadows of Innocence,” by SNM-commissioned composer Steve Ferre, winner of the Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers; “Migrant” by Octavio Vazquez, co-commissioned by SNM and the National Endowment for the Arts; and “Serenade: Recomposed” by Christian-Frédéric Bloquert, winner of the 2022 Israel/Pellman Prize.

SNM is the brainchild of Neva Pilgrim, who co-founded the successful non-profit organization in 1971. Even a global pandemic hasn’t deterred SNM from continuing to fund commissions, present concerts and workshops, and recognize emerging composers. “We’re excited about the next 50 years,” says Pilgrim, who has served as artist-in-residence at Syracuse and Colgate universities. “The success of the Society for New Music is a testament not only to the hard work of many people, but also to the growing popularity of contemporary classical music.”

Pilgrim, who has also produced and hosted “Fresh Ink” on WCNY-FM for the past 26 years, sums up the SNM aesthetic in three words: “Variety. Imagination. Originality.”

Regular tickets are $20. Tickets for students and seniors are $15. Audience members 18 and under are free.

“Repair Works” is free for Syracuse students, faculty, and staff with proper identification.